Israel and Hamas at war, day 178 | Israeli army leaves destruction and corpses at al-Chifa hospital

Israeli soldiers withdrew from the al-Chifa hospital complex in Gaza on Monday after two weeks of operations, leaving behind immense destruction and bodies, according to a doctor at the Palestinian territory’s largest hospital, battered by nearly six months of war.




As the conflict between the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas and Israel continues to rage, the Hamas Health Ministry announced the death of at least 60 people, mostly civilians, in Israeli nighttime bombings on the small strip of Palestinian land threatened with famine.

The war has also exacerbated tensions in the region, where Iranian media reported the deaths of at least seven Revolutionary Guards — Iran’s ideological army — in strikes attributed to Israel and targeting a annex of the Iranian embassy in Damascus.

Asked Monday evening about these strikes, the spokesperson for the Israeli army, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, declared: “I do not comment on information from the foreign press.” Tehran promised “a decisive response”.

In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was operated on “successfully” on Sunday evening for a hernia, should be released from hospital on Tuesday, his office announced.

On Monday evening, a new demonstration demanding his resignation and the release of Israeli hostages held in Gaza brought together thousands of demonstrators in Jerusalem.

PHOTO LEO CORREA, ASSOCIATED PRESS

Demonstration in Jerusalem

Destroyed, charred or flattened buildings, streets littered with rubble and large mounds of sand: AFP images show a landscape of devastation in the al-Chifa hospital complex in Gaza (North) stormed on March 18 by the army after accusing Hamas, which denies, of using it as a command center.

On Monday, the army announced the end of its operations in al-Chifa during which it claimed to have killed more than 200 “terrorists” and found numerous weapons.

PHOTO DAWOUD ABU ALKAS, REUTERS

Palestinians inspect the damage caused to al-Chifa hospital after the withdrawal of Israeli forces on 1er April in Gaza City.

“We have killed more than 200 terrorists and arrested more than 900 terrorist suspects who have surrendered. Among them, more than 500 members of Hamas or Islamic Jihad, including some in high positions,” declared the spokesperson for the Israeli army.

“There were only 300 patients and medical staff. Our forces took all necessary precautions to avoid harming any patients, staff or civilians in the hospital complex during the operation and evacuated them safely,” he added.

300 dead in al-Chifa

A spokesperson for the Gaza Civil Defense Agency, run by Hamas, in power in Gaza since 2007, said 300 people died in and around the hospital during the Israeli operation.

Doctors and civilians at the complex told AFP that at least 20 bodies had been found, some of which appeared to have been driven over by military vehicles.

Several bodies were found near the western entrance to the complex, used by the army at the time of its withdrawal on Monday, according to the same sources. An AFP correspondent saw a decomposed body with tire marks near the entrance, but could not say when.

“The tanks passed over bodies,” said a witness who preferred not to give his name.

Questioned by AFP, the army did not immediately comment.

PHOTO DAWOUD ABU ALKAS, REUTERS

Two women cry in front of al-Chifa hospital after the withdrawal of Israeli forces on 1er April in Gaza City.

Historical allies of Israel, the United States announced on Monday their intention to request “more information” from the Israeli government on the subject, judging that the reported facts, if “true”, were “very worrying”.

Israeli troops are also continuing operations in the areas of the Nasser and al-Amal hospitals in Khan Younes in the south, according to Hamas.

On October 7, Hamas commandos infiltrated from Gaza carried out an attack in southern Israel which resulted in the deaths of at least 1,160 people, mainly civilians, according to an AFP count based on official data. . According to Israel, around 250 people were also kidnapped and 130 of them are still hostages, including 34 who died in Gaza.

Israel vowed to destroy Hamas, considered a terrorist group by the United States and the European Union, and its army launched an intense aerial bombardment campaign on Gaza, followed 20 days later by a ground offensive that allowed his soldiers to advance from north to south of the small strip of land.

Haniyeh’s sister arrested in Israel

Israeli operations have cost the lives of 32,845 people, most of them civilians, according to the Hamas Ministry of Health and caused a humanitarian catastrophe and colossal destruction.

The Israeli army announced that 600 soldiers had been killed since October 7, including 256 in the ground offensive.

In a message sent to Gazans on Sunday, Hamas “thanks them for their patience and resistance in the face of the Zionist genocide” and presents its “apologies” for the movement’s “failures” in managing the territory during this war, which it said wanting to continue until the “defeat of the enemy”.

Nearly six months after the start of the conflict, Israeli police announced that they had arrested Sabah Abdel Salam Haniyeh, the 57-year-old sister of the Hamas leader who has Israeli nationality, in her home in Tel Sheva, in the south from Israel where she lives. She is notably “suspected of incitement to commit acts of terrorism in Israel”.

His brother, Ismaïl Haniyeh, is based in Qatar.

It is in Qatar and Egypt where indirect discussions have taken place in recent months between Israel and Hamas via international mediators – Egypt, Qatar, United States – with a view to concluding a truce agreement associated with a release of hostages.

But this agreement is far away, with the two protagonists accusing each other of blocking it.

And this despite pressing calls for a ceasefire from international organizations, warning of a risk of famine for the majority of the 2.4 million inhabitants of Gaza, subjected by Israel to a siege since October 9 and to a total blockade since 2007.

PHOTO AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A ship from the NGO Open Arms carrying food aid waits for permission to dock in Gaza on 1er april.

A second boat coming from Cyprus and carrying humanitarian aid was seen off the coast of Gaza, according to the site Vesselfinder.com, as aid trickles into the territory.


reference: www.lapresse.ca

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